Inoue defends WBO superfly title with TKO

first_img GET THE BEST OF THE JAPAN TIMES Naoya Inoue (right) lands a punch on Thailand’s Petchbarngborn Kokietgym during their WBO super flyweight title fight in Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Sunday. | REUTERS Naoya Inoue “This was the level I’m at today and I am sorry for that,” said the 23-year-old Inoue, who improved to 11-0 with nine wins by knockout.“Determination got me the knockout in the end but the process leading up to it was no good whatsoever, I can’t be talking about having big fights. I just have to keep practicing.”Petchbarngborn, the top-ranked challenger, was able to surprise Inoue with flurries of punches, but the Japanese fighter did the most damage when the two went toe to toe. A huge right early on landed flush on the Thai’s left cheek and opened a cut that never closed.Although Inoue had several embarrassing lapses when he turned away from his opponent only to be struck repeatedly, the Thai was unable to do any damage unless he came in close, when he got the worst of it.By the 10th round, it became clear the Thai would have to pull something out of his hat and became much more aggressive. When Karoon opened up to attack, Inoue repeatedly pounded the left side of his face until he dropped and the referee stopped the fight.The 31-year-old Petchbarngborn’s record fell to 38-9 with one draw.Hideyuki Ohashi, the chairman of Inoue’s Ohashi Gym, said that Sunday’s fight pointed out some areas that need to be addressed but that he is eying a match with WBC flyweight champ Roman Gonzalez.“Roman Gonzalez will have a bout in the United States on Sept. 10, and we’ll go to watch him in action,” Ohashi said. “There we’ll enter into negotiations for a bout.” ZAMA, KANAGAWA PREF. – Naoya Inoue successfully defended his WBO super flyweight championship for the third time on Sunday when he defeated Thailand’s Petchbarngborn Kokietgym by technical knockout in the 10th round.Inoue offered a sober assessment of a fight in which he did little for several rounds but probe and test his opponent.center_img IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5 KEYWORDS RELATED PHOTOSlast_img

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